Walmart

It’s no secret that Walmart is king when it comes to grocery stores. In terms of sales, it’s not only the largest grocery chain in the world but also the largest retail company on Earth, period. And they are everywhere. Walmart operates more than 11,000 locations in 26 countries around the world, with nearly 5,000 stores right here in the U.S. In fact, 90 percent of Americans live within ten miles of a Walmart.

The company says it serves over 265 million customers a week. Chances are, you’re probably one of them, and you know what great deals and "everyday low prices" you can get at Walmart. But there is more to the superstore than the thousands of products you’ll find among the aisles. You can also get great, fresh products at great prices from the Walmart bakery. Keep scrolling for all the secrets of the Walmart bakery you’ll wish you knew sooner.

The Walmart bakery is constantly adding new items to its wide-ranging selection

Walmart bakery

It’s no secret that the Walmart bakery has a huge selection of baked goods. You can find just about any bread your heart desires, not to mention buns, bagels, tortillas, muffins, donuts, and more. And that’s all before getting into dessert. The bakery offers a full slate of cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies, tarts, and more to satisfy your sweet tooth.

What you may not know is that there are always new treats to find at the Walmart bakery. Walmart says it added about 60 new bakery items just in 2015 and that it continues to innovate. The company is constantly coming up with and testing out new products — from a new line of fruit cobblers introduced in 2016 to pumpkin spice and vanilla latte muffins that hit the shelves in 2018. And earlier this year, the bakery rolled out a line of dessert squares, with indulgent flavors like Peanut Butter Brownie and Raspberry Oat. So keep your eyes peeled next time you’re strolling the aisles: You never know what yummy surprise you might find.

Bakery products are taste-tested over and over to make sure they’re perfect

The bakery at Walmart may have a wide-ranging selection of treats to choose from, but it’s not sacrificing quality for quantity. The company works hard to make sure that it produces only the best baked goods and desserts. That starts with intense taste-testing for consistent quality control. Walmart says its bakery products "go through several taste panels to ensure quality" before they ever hit the shelves.

When it comes to quality baked goods, freshness is a major key. And Walmart is all over that, too, estimating that more than half of the bakery items it offers are prepared right in the store. Furthermore, the company says it has taken a number of steps to up its bakery game, including hiring bakery technicians to train associates and oversee the operations in each store and updating processes to make each bakery run smoother and pump out even more fresh-baked goods for customers every day.

You can customize the cake of your dreams … and cupcakes, too

Walmart’s bakery is full of tasty, ready-made creations, but you can also get creative and have a dessert made just for you. No matter the occasion, you can’t go wrong with Walmart’s fully customizable options for sheet cakes, round cakes, or even cupcakes. While there aren’t many flavors to choose from (white, yellow, chocolate, or marble), there are dozens of frosting color and design choices, with the option to add a message and notes for the cake decorator.

In 2019, Walmart made it even easier to custom-order the cake of your dreams with the rollout of its online cake ordering system. Rather than having to go to a physical store to order a cake, customers can now go directly to Walmart’s website to design, personalize, and schedule a cake or cupcake order and then pick it up at their local store.

But be warned … you could fall victim to a Walmart cake fail

It’s an understatement to say that Walmart makes a lot of cakes. In fact, the company estimates that one in every four cakes sold in the U.S. comes from Walmart. To put it another way, the company says it sells enough cakes "to circle the Earth and the equator." When you’re pumping out that many custom cake orders, some mistakes are bound to happen. And according to confessions online, the results can be pretty hilarious.

For example, one bakery accidentally misheard an order and ended up making a cake for a toddler that said "Happy Birthday Loser." Another employee took things a bit too literally when a customer said "I want nothing on the cake" and wrote "Nothing" on the cake. And in another incident, a Walmart in Texas was left apologizing after a family cut into their graduation cake, only to find it was made of Styrofoam.

You can get some serious discounts at the Walmart bakery

Walmart customers have come to expect the company’s everyday low price guarantee across the board, but those who shop the bakery know that there are even more hidden ways to save at Walmart. You can reportedly get major discounts on day-old bread, bagels, pastries, and other baked goods. There is a strategy behind the deals, which are meant to help stores clear the shelves of older products and make way for the freshest items each day.

One food blogger wrote that their local Walmart marks down the day-old items by 40 percent. For the best selection of marked down baked goods, Taste of Home says to check the bakery first thing in the morning. Whether you pick up some French bread or yesterday’s poppy seed bagel, a quick zap in the toaster or oven, and it’s as good as new.

The Walmart bakery will give you a free smash cake for a first birthday party

Getting the chance to smash their tiny little fists, and probably face, into a sugary, fluffy birthday cake is practically a rite of passage for one-year-olds these days. Walmart is totally behind the tradition, and the bakery offers free smash cakes for first birthday cake orders. They’re basically an adorable miniature version of a signature or custom-made cake order, created purely for the joy of the birthday baby.

Walmart says customers can get a free smash cake "with the purchase of a special order bakery item that is $14.98 or higher," and the smash cakes can be personalized just like their larger counterparts. Customers can also pick from one of Walmart’s themed first birthday cakes, like the Lil’ Monsters, Jungle Fun, or Twinkle Twinkle Little One, complete with a layer of sprinkles and festive stars.

The French bread is a fan favorite

Among the multitude of fresh-baked items to choose from at Walmart, the bakery’s French bread has emerged as a fan favorite. You can get your hands on a loaf of this house-baked bread for just $1.00 at your local Walmart, which will make for at least eight servings. Shoppers say the bakery French bread tastes amazing, has a good crust, and is ideal for ripping apart. There are also Sesame, Garlic Herb, and Everything French bread varieties available, all for just a buck each.

You can enjoy this soft and delicious bread in a variety of ways — many say it’s perfect for making sandwiches. Walmart suggests using it "as a base for flatbread and pizza or simply toast and spread with your favorite jelly or jam" or even using it "to make garlic bread and serve with chicken Alfredo and a side salad." So many tasty possibilities, all for pennies on the dollar.

The Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie is a viral sensation

Around 2015, Walmart partnered up with singer, actress, and entrepreneur Patti LaBelle to create a custom line of bakery items, including Southern favorites like banana pudding, peach cobbler, and pecan pie. The results were better than expected, mostly thanks to one item in particular, the sweet potato pie. Walmart says this "exclusive recipe combines a tender, flaky crust and creamy filling made with sweet potatoes, butter and spice." And the best part is that the whole pie will set you back less than $4.

The Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie has become one of the most in demand items at the bakery. This is partially thanks to a viral YouTube video that came out in 2015. Walmart reportedly says that when the video came out, the company was selling one pie every second for three days. That’s nearly $1 million in pie sales in just 72 hours.

The Walmart bakery is where the Crotilla was invented

We all remember the infamous cronut trend circa 2013. The donut-croissant concoction became an icon of millennial culture and has set off a frenzy of mashup innovations since then. One such trendy treat comes straight from the Walmart bakery, and it’s known as the Crotilla. This hybrid flatbread is a cross between a flaky croissant and a tortilla, and they’re baked fresh in stores every day.

Walmart says its Crotillas were created with millennials in mind — convenient, portable and perfect for eating on the go during a busy day. And the possibilities for what you can do with them are endless. Walmart suggests Crotillas "can be used for everything from breakfast sandwiches to Indian food." Or perhaps try using a Crotilla to make a personal pizza or even turn one into dessert with some sweet toppings. This snack is practically begging you to get creative.

You can get award-winning pumpkin pie from Walmart’s bakery

Whether you’re looking to brighten up the holiday season or just looking for a sweet, comforting treat (no occasion necessary!), you can’t beat Walmart’s full lineup of sweet, decadent, or fruity pies. You really can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose, but the company’s seasonal pumpkin pie in particular is sure to knock your socks off.

This classic treat from Walmart combines a flaky crust and "the sweet taste of pumpkin with the spicy warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg," all for just $3.98 for a family-sized pie. It also happens to be award-winning. Walmart says that its pumpkin pie has previously won the blue ribbon at the American Pie Council’s National Pie Championships, meaning that it was chosen as number one among all the other grocery store brands. Just add a dollop of whipped cream, and we’re sold.

The apple pies at the Walmart bakery are loaded up with fruit

Another dessert favorite for many is a good old-fashioned apple pie. And Walmart claims that it does this American classic better than the rest. The bakery offers up fresh-baked apple pie loaded up with tons of apples, plus a dash of cinnamon, inside a flaky, buttery crust. In fact, The company says that its family-size apple pie, made with fresh orchard apples, "contains over 70% fruit, which is 40% more than the average."

Walmart calls it "two and a half pounds of pure awesomeness," and many customers agree. According to some shoppers, the Walmart bakery apple pie is surprisingly impressive (via Reddit). One said the "crust is probably as close as one can get to what we used to roll at home." And in true Walmart style, the apple pie comes at the low price of $5.94. All you have to do is warm it up and pile on some vanilla ice cream.